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horse and rabbit stew

A situation comprised of both crude or unpleasant things as well as those which are pleasing or beneficial, usually with the former in greater proportion to the latter. Used especially in reference to economics or business. The prime minister's plan for the economic recovery is little more than horse and rabbit stew, with a few token stimulus incentives greatly outweighed by draconian austerity measures.
See also: and, horse, rabbit, stew

be in a stew

To be worried and flummoxed about something. Mom is in a stew because she just found out that we're hosting all of our relatives for Christmas—which is three days away.
See also: stew

get in(to) a stew

To be or become angry, upset, agitated, anxious, or alarmed over something or someone. John is always getting into a stew over his girlfriend's late nights out. Don't get in a stew with me, I was trying to be helpful! I always get into a stew when I have a big meeting with my managers.
See also: get, stew

leave (one) to stew

To allow someone to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I left them to stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just leaving me to stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: leave, stew

let (one) stew

To allow someone to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I let them stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just letting me stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: let, stew

too many cooks spoil the stew

If too many people try to control, influence, or work on something, the final product will be worse as a result. A: "We've got my boss, his boss, the assistant manager, a freelance consultant, and the head of IT all involved in this project, and it's turning into a complete disaster!" B: "Well, too many cooks spoil the stew, after all!"
See also: cook, many, spoil, stew

stew in (one's) own juice(s)

To leave one alone with one's emotions, usually unpleasant ones like anger or disappointment. Kevin was in such a foul mood at dinner that I left early and just let him stew in his own juices.
See also: own, stew

get (oneself) into a stew (over someone or something)

Fig. to be worried or upset about someone or something. Please don't get yourself into a stew over Walter. Liz is the kind of person who gets into a stew over little problems.
See also: get, stew

*in a stew (about someone or something)

Fig. upset or bothered about someone or something. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~.) I'm in such a stew about my dog. She ran away last night. Now, now. Don't get in a stew. She'll be back when she gets hungry.
See also: stew

stew in one's own juice

Fig. to be left alone to suffer one's anger or disappointment. John has such a terrible temper. When he got mad at us, we just let him go away and stew in his own juice. After John stewed in his own juice for a while, he decided to come back and apologize to us.
See also: juice, own, stew

Too many cooks spoil the stew.

 and Too many Cooks spoil the broth.
Prov. Cliché Too many people trying to manage something simply spoil it. Let's decide who is in charge around here. Too many cooks spoil the stew. Everyone is giving orders, but no one is following them! Too many cooks spoil the broth.
See also: cook, many, spoil, stew

in a stew

Agitated, alarmed, or anxious. For example, Mary was in a stew about how her cake was going to turn out. It is also put as get in or into a stew , as in Every Saturday the minister got in a stew about Sunday's sermon. This expression transfers the mixture of meat and vegetables constituting a stew to overheated mixed emotions. [c. 1800]
See also: stew

stew in one's own juice

Suffer the consequences of one's actions, as in He's run into debt again, but this time we're leaving him to stew in his own juice. This metaphoric term alludes to cooking something in its own liquid. Versions of it, such as fry in one's own grease, date from Chaucer's time, but the present term dates from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: juice, own, stew

in a stew

If someone is in a stew, they are very worried about something. He's in a bit of a stew over his exams.
See also: stew

let someone stew in their own juice


let someone stew

If you let someone stew in their own juice or let them stew, you deliberately leave them to worry about something they have done and do nothing to comfort or help them. The coach refused to put an arm round the 23-year-old afterwards — choosing, instead, to let Taylor stew in his own juice. Leave her alone — let her stew. Give her time to reflect on how stupid she's been. Note: You can also say that you leave someone to stew. I thought I'd leave him to stew for a while.
See also: juice, let, own, stew

in a stew

in a state of great anxiety or agitation. informal
See also: stew

stew in your own juice

suffer the unpleasant consequences of your own actions or temperament without the consoling intervention of others. informal
See also: juice, own, stew

be in a ˈstew (about/over something)


get (yourself) into a ˈstew (about/over something)

(informal) be/become very worried or nervous (about something): She’s in a stew over what she’s going to wear to the party tonight.
See also: stew

let somebody ˈstew (in their own ˈjuice)

(informal) leave somebody to worry and suffer the unpleasant effects of their own actions: We told her not to trust him but she wouldn’t listen — so let her stew in her own juice!
See also: let, somebody, stew


1. n. a drinking bout. These frequent stews must stop. You will ruin your health.
2. n. a drunkard. There are three stews sleeping in the alley.
3. Go to stewed (up).
4. n. a stewardess or steward on an airplane. (Although officially replaced by flight attendat, this term and steward(ess) are still in use.) My sister is a stew for a major airline.
5. in. to fret. I spent most of last night stewing about my job.
6. n. a fretful state. Don’t work yourself into a stew.

stew bum

n. a drunkard; an alcoholic. You’re going to end up a stew bum if you don’t lay off the moonshine.
See also: bum, stew

stewed (up)

and stew
mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also stew (sense 1).) The kid was stewed up and scared to death of what his parents were going to do to him.
See also: stewed, up



stew zoo

An apartment house in which many female flight attendants lived. Back in prepolitically correct days, female flight attendants were called “stewardesses” and had the reputation for being attractive and, even better to the male mind, “fun” (Frank Sinatra's hit ballad “Come Fly with Me” became something of an anthem). Stewardesses (or a many self-styled hip males called them “stewardii”) shared apartments, a rentsaving arrangement that appealed to their lifestyle because one or more was usually traveling. Apartment buildings in large cities, especially ones with easy access to airports, that attracted the young women were known as “stew zoos.”
See also: stew, zoo
References in periodicals archive ?
I was lucky to have a great partner in Ronnie Jepson here at Town, but I would have loved it if Stewy had been there for a spell as well.
Deepest sympathy to my mate Stewy, Alec, Danielle and family.
The Blaydon, resurrected in 1981, has been a favoured race for Stewy over the years, and after his first success as a junior, he completed a double by retaining the cup the following year.
One of the problems might have been the fact that Stewy missed the first half of the season because of injury.
NEW COLOURS Stewy Bell in his Blackhill Bounders vest
Stewy attempted 60 shots in the Premier League without scoring, 20 of which were on target.
He won by 48 seconds while nearly another minute adrift in third was Stewy Bell of Chester-le-Street.
Ship had the wind in their favour after the break, but Lancelyn skipper Steve Padmore was ably assisted by Danny Beattie and Stewy Jones as stand-in goalkeeper Ian Howard was rarely troubled.
Phil Sanderson is another harrier league regular and, also for the third season in a row, tops the veteran men's list after accumulating 39 points, six more than Chester-le-Street's Stewy Bell with Ian McGrath (Crook) finishing third one point behind Bell.
That's why Stewy, down in the dumps as he recovers from a foot injury, should take heart from the knowledge he is the top man.
Marcus Stewart's winner provided further evidence of a striker revived and his manager added: "All afternoon I thought Stewy ran their centre-backs into channels they would rather not have explored.
Stewy Bell, who has been a regular in the championship over two decades, gave the thumbs-up to the idea of bringing the race under the umbrella of the Athletics League.
He said: "I went into midfield and stayed back with Macca, Stewy and Tayls, while Huthy and Wheats went into the box with everyone else.
We also had in attendance Bill Robinson, who won when a member of Saltwell in 1969, and more recent winners, Stewy Bell (2003) and Matthew Armstrong (2009).